Dinner Crashers

I’m trying hard to keep it all in perspective. I know it’s not a big deal, and I’m sure my surging hormones are fueling my fury, but I am not happy. On my brother’s last night in town, my sister and I and our spouses organized a sibling dinner at a fancy Italian restaurant that my mom used to take us to. My sister made it extremely clear that this was our dinner and our virtual step-father was not invited.

When I greet my sister at the restaurant she hands me a camera and says Dad is showing up to take a picture. I’m livid. Why can’t he leave us alone for one dinner?? Last week he was at every dinner at our mom’s house. The night before he had us all over for Shabbas dinner. I *believe* my dad asked my sister or her husband if it’s okay and they said sure. I think it was entirely out of line. My sister has repeatedly heard me say this week and last that if she would have dinners with dad, I’d have to pass because “it was too much.” In fact I must have repeated “too much” half a dozen times in the same breath. There was no ambiguity to my feelings.

I’m sure my brother who visits one week out of the year was happy to go along with whatever. My brother in law just got into town and was in the process of kissing ass to my dad. He will have two weeks to continue the phony sycophant act without involving me. Why did he have to come this one night? Of course my dad loves being with his kids, but since when do his desires and wants trump what we want? How utterly disrespectful.

He shows up buzzed before we even finished our main course, pulls a chair up from another table with guests, and orders dessert beside us. I am livid. My mother is rolling over in her grave. I was tempted to stand up and say thank you for visiting, we will see you soon but kept my mouth shut. Perhaps my sister wonders why my needs should trump hers. And they don’t, but my feelings should be considered. Just as she walks on eggshells not to offend or upset or machisto husband, shouldn’t her pregnant sister weigh in?

My father refused to have my mom over for dinner at his house because “she would dominate the conversation” but it’s okay for him to crash our dinner and dominate the conversation? When the check arrived I even considered handing it to him, as if he wants to partake in our dinner he can afford it. I didn’t. When my husband told me at 3 am that I was right and my dad was totally ridiculous I could not go back to sleep, still fuming.

My sister knew I was upset, but I do not think she knows the extent. In fact she has not even spoken to me today. My dad called at 1:30 completely oblivious.

I know in the scope of things this is ridiculous and I should not blow it out of proportion. I’m lucky I have a dad who wants to be with his kids, but I wish he knew his boundaries and my siblings who are free from his overbearing constant presence 50 weeks out of the year, would respect that I deal with it 50 weeks out of my year.


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